The Miami of today may not look like any place my grandparents would recognize–at least from the outside. But Magic City’s big heart and carousing spirit are here to stay.

I’ve heard the horror stories: Hours on end spent in a stuffy car desperately trying to get to some specific event (a wedding, a theme park) on time with a constant chorus of “Are we there yet?” emanating from the backseat. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are some key things you can do to make your next family road trip your best ever. Here are five to get you started.

Two years ago, National Geographic Traveler contributing editor Carl Hoffman shared with me an idea for his next book. It struck a chord because when I was ten I was drawn to the subject: the mysterious disappearance in 1961 of Michael Rockefeller in what was then Netherlands New Guinea. Did he drown? Was he shredded by a crocodile or shark? Or, most grisly, was he eaten by cannibals?

When to Boycott A Destination

I’ve traveled all around the world, and Uganda remains perhaps the most beautifully arresting place I have ever visited. So, when my husband and I began thinking of dream trips we could take this year, the chance for me to introduce him to what Winston Churchill called “the pearl of Africa” propelled the country to the top of my list. That was before Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a bill that imposes prison terms for homosexual acts.

The homemade pierogi are spot-on and the borscht is rich with dill, just like in Ukraine. But the old country is thousands of miles away; I’m on a patch of Canadian prairie in Alberta, site of the biggest Ukrainian settlement outside of eastern Europe.

“Have a seat by the window; it’s better to watch the wildlife that way,” the host at Osteria del Teatro said with a wink as he led me to a table with a view. Before long, I was enjoying the show–a parade of people streaming toward Washington Avenue, one of the most happening thoroughfares in Miami’s…

Stephanie Hsu, who hails from New Jersey, relocated to Taipei on a “winter-break whim” and has never looked back. She now spends her days studying business at National Taiwan University and blogging about the place she calls home on her website, The Thousandth Girl. Here are a few of Stephanie’s favorite things about the city The Wall Street Journal’s China bureau described as “Asia’s answer to Portland, Oregon.”

I consider travel an enlightening experience, but it never occurred to me that beams of light might change the way we travel. Recently, lighting scientists (yes, they exist) have dissected the specific wavelengths of electric light to better understand how they affect our bodies. “Hotels will offer guest rooms with lights that help us to…

Steinbeck had Charley. Dorothy had Toto. Heck, even Waldo had Woof for company as he ventured into the Land of Waldos. Real and fictional, canine traveling companions have a long and celebrated history. Here’s how to road trip with fido like a pro.

Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry trees are in full bloom, and Nat Geo Travel took you there in real time with Dan Westergren, the head of photography for Traveler magazine, leading the way. During the Google Hangout On Air, Dan went down to one of the District’s most photogenic spots–the Tidal Basin–to capture this world-class capital city in…

Ohio’s city of seven hills is on the way up. New riverfront parks and neighborhood comebacks are revitalizing Cincinnati’s urban core—a mix of industrial grit and Victorian ornamentation that wags call “sauerbraten Gothic.”

Fort Lauderdale used to be known as a raucous spring break haven in the 1980s, with hundreds of thousands of college coeds descending upon the city each year for a 24-7 celebration of all things frivolous and decadent. But after the locals finally put their foot down and declared, “Enough!,” the binge-drinking crowd has all but vanished, paving way for new, more grown-up kind of place. Here’s why I love it.